Florida Environmental Crimes Lawyer

environmental crime defense florida

State and federal courts hold the responsibility of prosecuting violators of environmental crimes. Florida, in particular, is home to the “Litter Law.” This law penalizes the illegal dumping of solid waste in any amount on any road, public highway, alley, or street. The legislation also extends to dumping in bodies of water including rivers, freshwater lakes, canals, and any others. The solid waste referred to as “litter” in the statute includes but is not limited to:

  • Motor vehicle parts
  • Food waste
  • Construction materials
  • Animal waste
  • Vehicles
  • Plastics

Companies large and small are often the most susceptible to committing environmental crimes as industries like food service, vehicle repair, and many others require waste management services which can be costly. Unaware of the environmental statutes in place, companies often find themselves facing massive lawsuits after local, state or federal officials detect their illegal waste management tactics.

No matter your intentions, it is essential that you acquire an attorney who can implement their legal knowledge to your benefit. The Florida environmental crime lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can provide strong legal representation for all presented charges.

Types of Environmental Crimes

Although illegal solid waste dumping is a serious offense, it is only one facet of environmental crimes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also prohibits this mishandling of hazardous materials and items (HAZMAT). HAZMAT are chemicals and substances classified as especially harmful to humans as well as the environment, and therefore require special precautionary measures in the handling and disposing of such materials.

The types of environmental crimes individuals and companies often face charges for include:

  • Illegal storage of hazardous materials
  • Burning garbage
  • Illegal dumping of waste materials
  • Improperly removing or disposing of asbestos
  • Illegal shipping, labeling, or transportation of hazardous products
  • Oil spills
  • Illegal disposal of toxic materials and medical products
  • Falsifying lab data relating to environmental regulations
  • Unlawful use of herbicide, pesticide, and insecticide

Entities caught doing any of the previous actions may face repercussions at the local, state, and federal level. The Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act are a few federal regulations under the EPA that warrant a federal case if violated.

Environmental Crime Penalties

In response to the growing effects of pollution, the federal government added the Office of Criminal Enforcement in 1982 under the EPA. Their sole responsibility is to prosecute environmental crime offenders, and they have been able to continuously do so since their inception.

Due to the growing considerations for environmental safety, prosecutors aggressively approach these cases, oftentimes, with the intentions of presenting criminal charges. Environmental law violators may face the following:

  • Probation
  • Criminal fines
  • Jail time;
  • Or a combination of the three

Although jail time may the most daunting criminal penalty, it isn’t often the primary mean of punishment by prosecutors. Their intentions are often to place heavy fines on corporations and individuals to discourage them from committing the violation again. Federal, state, and local organizations often jointly enforce environmental laws, making it all the more vital for you to have a knowledgeable attorney representing you.

Aggressive Florida Environmental Crimes Lawyers

The Florida environmental crime lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can make you aware of the potential penalties in your case specifically and present the most appropriate defenses. Environmental agencies won’t hesitate to accuse you of state or federal violations. Be sure to waste little time in acquiring an equally aggressive attorney. Contact us today at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation.